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Predation on Waterhyacinth Weevils and Other Aquatic Insects by Three Wetland Birds in Florida

Kim H. Haag, Joseph C. Joyce, Willie Mae Hetrick and Jacqueline C. Jordan
The Florida Entomologist
Vol. 70, No. 4 (Dec., 1987), pp. 457-471
DOI: 10.2307/3494788
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3494788
Page Count: 15
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Predation on Waterhyacinth Weevils and Other Aquatic Insects by Three Wetland Birds in Florida
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Abstract

Common moorhens (Gallinula chloropus), boat-tailed grackles (Quiscalus major) and red-winged blackbirds (Agelaius phoeniceus) were collected monthly from September 1984 to August 1985 at a waterhyacinth (Eichhornnia crassipes) infested lake in northcentral Florida. Contents of esophagi and gizzards were examined to assess predation on waterhyacinth weevils, Neochetina eichhorniae and N. bruchi, and other aquatic insects. Waterhyacinth weevils were rarely found in stomach contents of common moorhens, whose herbivorous diet consisted largely of coontail, hydrilla and duckweed. Althought diets of the other two bird species varied seasonally, both consumed significant proportions of aquatic insects. Adults of Donacia leaf beetles were found to be very abundant in stomach contents of grackles and blackbirds (aggregate percent: x̄ = 17.2, x̄ = 26.9, respectively). Neochetina weevils were frequently found in gizzards of boat-tailed grackles and red-winged blackbirds (percent occurrence: x̄ = 52.5, x̄ = 41.5, respectively), but accounted for a relatively small proportion of the total diet (aggregate percent: x̄ = 1.0, x̄ = 6.3, respectively). Implications for biological control of waterhyacinth are discussed. /// La gallineta de agua (Gallinula chloropus), el tordo mayor (Quiscalus major), y el tordo alas-rojas (Agelaius phoeniceus) fueron colectados mensualmente desde Septiembre de 1984 hasta Agosto de 1985 en un lago infestado por lirio de "waterhyacinth" (Eichhornia crassipes) en el Centro Norte de la Florida. Los contenidos de esófagos y mollejas fueron examinados para determinar la depredación sobre los gorgojos del lirio de agua, Neochetina eichhorniae y Neochetina bruchi, y ostros insectos acuáticos. Estos gorgojos del lirio de agua fueron raramente encontrados en los contenidos estomacales de las gallinetas de agua cuya dieta hebívora consistió principalmente en "coontail", "hydrilla" y "duckweed". A pesar de que las dietras de las otras dos aves variaron estacionalmente, ambas consumieron proporciones significativas de insectos acuáticos. Los adultos del escarabajo Donacia, fueron incontrados abundantemente en el contenido estomacal de los tordos mayores y de los tordos de alas-rojas (porcentaja agregado: x̄ = 17.2, x̄ = 2.69, respectivamente). Los gorgojos, Neochetina, fueron encontrados frecuentemente en las mollejas de los tordos mayores y de los tordos de alas rojas (porcentaje de ocurrencia: x̄ = 52.5, x̄ = 41.5, respectivamente), pero representaron una proporción relativamente pequeña de la dieta total (porcentaje agregado: x̄ = 1.0, x̄ = 6.3, respectivamente). Se discuten las implicaciones para el control biológico del lirio de agua.

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